Havant land victory double

Craig Duffy was among the goalscorers for Havant over the weekend Picture: Mick Young
Craig Duffy was among the goalscorers for Havant over the weekend Picture: Mick Young
Katie Spooner is aiming high for City of Portsmouth Ladies. Picture: Keith Woodland

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Havant continued their quest for honours as they clocked up a double success on their weekend road trip.

After registering a 3-1 win over Milton Keynes in their South League premier division one encounter, they then followed that with victory over Cambridge University by the same scoreline in the National Knockout Cup 24 hours later.

The weekend started in positive fashion for the Barncroft Way outfit as goals from Mike Deller-Merricks, Craig Duffy and Sandeep Singh saw them stay hot on the heels of table-topping Old Georgians.

But they had to come from behind in the contest after conceding the opener in the 19th minute, when goalkeeper Ben Cowling was beaten by a drag flick from Jamie Dodd.

It could have got worse for Havant as well, with the hosts dominating the first half – and they should have extended their lead with Cowling frequently called into action to bail his side out of trouble.

After a below-par first-half display, Havant were much improved after the break and were back on level terms soon after the restart.

A Milton Keynes foot gave Havant their second penalty corner of the game and Singh flicked the ball home.

The hosts could have restored their lead twice in the space of a few minutes, when James Lester deflected a shot off the line before Milton Keynes somehow missed an open goal.

But Havant made their opponents pay in the 49th minute as Duffy created a turnover just outside the circle and broke quickly moving the ball into midfield.

After continuing his run, he received a return pass in the Milton Keynes circle and beat two defenders before bundling the ball home.

Havant then made the game safe just beyond the hour mark as Singh found Deller-Merricks, who deflected home beyond the helpless keeper.

Although Milton Keynes kept pressing to find a way back into the contest, the away side stood firm to claim the points.

Up against the students, Havant were again not quite at their best in the early exchanges but crucially got their noses in front when Deller-Merricks latched on to James Speke’s pass to beat the England under-18 goalkeeper from close range.

It meant Havant were able to gain control of the game as they went looking for a second goal.

Singh twice went close with efforts from a penalty corner but he eventually got his reward as he doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time, flicking home to put Havant in command.

It might have been 3-0 after the break but for a fine save from the Cambridge goalkeeper, but Havant were well on top as they went for a killer third goal.

The students gave themselves hope of staging a fightback as Cowling was finally beaten, and the Havant keeper pulled off an excellent stop to deny the home side an equaliser.

It meant the visitors were under pressure as they attempted to see the game out, with Cambridge throwing everything at their opponents.

But Havant made the game safe in the final minute as Alistair Pollard was on hand to finish off a good team move.

The win sets up a quarter-final showdown with south coast rivals Chichester, who beat Hampstead & Winchester.

The tie will be played on February 7, 2016.